The world depends on The Associated Press during historic moments, and the impeachment of President Donald Trump was no exception.
Journalists in Washington and beyond demonstrated the AP’s extraordinary power and depth to cover all angles of the story, including the monthslong footrace to tally votes ahead of proceedings, videos filed quickly from the hearings and of Trump’s reaction, and capturing the ground-level view of impeachment in six election battleground states. Stellar post-vote stories included an analysis of how impeachment would affect Trump’s legacy and the 2020 campaign, as well as an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The coverage was overseen by Dustin Weaver, the Washington-based Congress editor who serves as the AP’s impeachment editor.
Among the work that impressed the judges:
– The impeachment vote count, a three-month effort to count support in the House of Representatives, which on Tuesday revealed that Democrats had the votes to impeach Trump. Other major news outlets were running a similar operation, but AP got the beat and was able to file the NewsAlert and the story before the competition thanks to the work of reporters Ben Finley in Virginia and David Sharp in Maine, who confirmed the last two votes needed. The tally anchored AP’s mainbar the day ahead of the vote, and many customers, including the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Times and C-Span, used the interactive on their home pages. The information also was provided to customers on the AP’s data.world platform, which allowed them to localize their representatives’ positions; among those that did were The Des Moines Register and Georgia Public Radio. The interactive and visualization efforts were possible thanks to the work of developers Andrew Milligan and Dan Kempton on the data team and graphic artists Phil Holm and Kevin Vineys on the Top Stories Hub.
– The impeachment mainbar by Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick, with contributions from Laurie Kellman, Matthew Daly, Alan Fram and Andrew Taylor, which deftly weaved together the day’s events and the next steps in the Senate.
– Video produced on both sides of the Atlantic, with the Washington team working double shifts to stay ahead of competitors on key developments, particularly Capitol Hill producer Padma Rama and cameramen Dan Huff and Rick Gentilo. At pivotal moments – the vote, Trump’s reaction to the impeachment at his Michigan rally – AP’s video moved to customers several minutes before competitors. Video offerings also included public reaction and context on other impeachment proceedings, something it took one competitor eight hours to match, and with less material than AP.
– Jonathan Lemire’s analysis of the impact on Trump’s legacy, which opened this way:
The first line of President Donald Trump’s obituary has been written.
Lemire’s story noted that while it is highly unlikely Trump will be removed from office, the president has made clear the toll the inquiry has taken on him and his family.
– Lisa Mascaro’s post-vote interview with Pelosi, which included the speaker’s headline-making assessment that Trump is “impeached forever.”
The work of dozens of other staffers, including writers, editors, producers, photographers, technical staff and more, all contributed to AP’s success.
For impeachment coverage that consistently broke news, gave crucial context and provided customers with materials they could localize and promote, the Washington bureau and the team of journalists behind the vote tracking effort win AP’s Best of the Week.